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Mechanical Unloading and Irradiation-Induced Musculoskeletal Loss and Dysfunction: Molecular Mechanisms and Therapeutic Nanoparticles


West Virginia University/NASA Johnson Space Center, Marshall Space Flight Center

Space travel is associated with the absence of musculoskeletal loading and exposure to increased radiation. Mitigating the loss of muscle and bone observed with space travel is important, which if not achieved, could impair space mission success and astronaut health. This proposal has been specially designed to investigate the effects of irradiation and mechanical unloading on musculoskeletal loss, and more importantly, to develop novel countermeasures. The deterioration of musculoskeletal structure and function is one of the most significant adverse impacts that

accompany long term space travel. The mechanisms regulating how the musculoskeletal system adapts to space factors are not well understood, which has prevented the development of effective countermeasures. This NASA-EPSCoR funded study is investigating the deteriorative effects of irradiation and microgravity on musculoskeletal system, and developing novel countermeasures, such as nanoparticle based interventions. Preliminary findings from this study have been accepted for presentation at the Health Physics Society 60th Annual Meeting. Interdisciplinary collaborations have been developed between our research team at Marshall University with NASA scientists and researchers from the University of Delaware, the Huntington VA Medical Center and West Virginia State University. These collaborations along with an Internal Grant Program funding have allowed investigators to develop four space science and medicine-oriented seed projects. A graduate course “Space Biology and Nanomedicine (PHAR801; 3 or 6 credit hours)” has also been developed in support of NASA’s educational mission.

Dr. Miaozong Wu (Science PI, West Virginia University) works with postdoctoral fellow Dr. Cuifen Wang (left) and graduate student Venkata Bandarupalli (right).

Dr. Honglu Wu, NASA Technical Monitor, Johnson Space Center

Impaired DAF-16 / FOXO function increases quiescence. B. Paraquat treatment increases nuclear translocation of DAF-16 in C. elegans (TJ356; daf16::gfp). C. Paraquat treatment increases nuclear translocation of FOXO1 (bottom panel) in HEK293 cells stably expressing FOXO1::GFP.

NASA EPSCoR Stimuli 2014-15



EPSCoR Stimuli 2014-15  

NASA Office of Education’s Aerospace Research & Career Development (ARCD) is pleased to release NASA EPSCoR Stimuli, a collection of univers...

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